Volunteers from the Samaritans will be at rail stations - including St Neots - across the East Coast Main Line as part of a campaign called 'Small Talk Saves Lives'.

Network Rail has partnered with Samaritans, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry to spread he message that a simple conversation can be vital as part of the charity’s Small Talk Saves Lives campaign.

Samaritans and Network Rail teams have been at London King’s Cross station hosting the ‘Small Talk Salon’. The one-day pop-up event encourages passengers to drop in for a quick treatment and a chat.

Two in five people (43 per cent) living near the East Coast Main Line use small talk when at the hairdressers. Therefore, by bringing hairdressers, barbers, and nail technicians to the station, the charity is giving people the opportunity to practise their small talk with the masters of small talk themselves.

It is hoped that people will leave feeling better than before and more confident about their conversation starting skills.

Throughout the campaign, Samaritans volunteers will also be hosting engagement events at local stations across the network speaking to people about the importance of small talk, including:

Northallerton station on 29 February from 7:30am to 12pm

Hatfield station on 6 March from 7am to 9am

Newcastle station on 7 March from 10am to 3pm

Durham station on 8 March from 8am to 3pm

Newark Northgate on 9 March from 10am to 2pm

St Neots station on 9 March from 11am

Sandy station on 9 March from 11am

Welwyn Garden City station on 13 March from 7am to 9am

Doncaster station on 16 March from 10am to 4pm.

Helen Cavanagh, head of passenger experience for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “The Small Talk Saves Lives campaign has shown us how we each have the skills to genuinely help someone in distress.

"I am ever so proud of our relationship with Samaritans and British Transport Police and hope this next stage of the campaign continues to help educate and inform people that small talk can be lifesaving.” 

For more information, visit: Samaritans.org/smalltalksaveslives or join the conversation on social media using #SmallTalkSavesLives 

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can visit: www.samaritans.org